Whether you've been working for years to conserve energy, or you are just making the decision, the time is right to reduce your energy consumption. Every day you hear on the news or in conversations about the need to go green, reduce waste and conserve energy. Even when we have the best intentions, it is sometimes easy to forget to conserve energy. While there are some basic ways to reduce your energy consumption, such as using energy efficient light bulbs, there are also some easy ways to conserve energy that we rarely think of such as reducing the number of catalogues we receive in the mail. Some of these suggestions will result in immediate changes in your individual energy consumption, while others will contribute to the countries overall energy usage.
Not only is the environment a concern, but in today's troubled economy, the cost of energy in the future is a growing worry. Reducing the energy can help you cut your monthly bills considerably and leave you money to spend on more important things.
Whether you are concerned about the increasing threat of climate change, are concerned about the personal financial costs of energy, or are just looking for ways to reduce your impact and reliance on energy, here are 42 ideas of ways to conserve energy in your everyday life.
1. Use energy saving light bulbs â€“ these come in an increasing number of sizes, shapes, and intensities.
2. Turn off the lights when they aren't in use and teach your kids to turn off the lights.
3. Appliances use energy even when they are not on. Unplug your TV and coffee pot when they aren't in use. If you use a digital box, 90% of the energy used by your TV occurs when it is turned off, and newer TV's use more energy than older TVs. As a second choice, you can also use a surge protector and turn this off when your TV is not in use. Unplugging appliances has the added bonus of helping to reduce the risk of fires.
4. Unplug your chargers when not in use. This includes the charger for your cell phone, camera, computer, etc.
5. Make sure you close the door behind you firmly if it is warm or cold outside.
6. Set your computers so they will go to sleep and hibernate when not in use.
7. Put on an extra layer of clothes before you turn up your thermostat. You should be wearing sweaters, not tank tops in the winter.
8. Keep your thermostat no higher than 68 during the day and turn it down to 55 at night. During the summer time, turn the AC no higher than 80.
9. Use the sun to heat and cool your house. During the winter, if your windows are well insulated, keep the shades open during the day and closed during the night. During the summer, close the shades to keep the sun from making the house warmer during the day.
10. If you have older windows, install newer better insulated ones.
11. Make sure your doors seal properly and don't have any air leaks.
12. Plan your outdoor landscape to take advantage of the sunlight. Plant deciduous trees on the southern side of your house. These trees will provide shade during the summer and when the leaves drop in the winter, the sun will heat your house.
13. If you live in a windy place, put trees or shrubs on the windy side of your house to keep your house protected from wind that will increase the draftiness of you house.
14. Keep a clear area with no shrubs around your AC unit.
15. Set your water heater temperature for between 120 and 130 degrees.
16. Choose the right settings for your fridge (38-42) and freezer (0-5). Also make sure the door seals properly.
17. Clean and replace the air filters for your heating and cooling units.
18. Wrap your water heater in an insulating jacket.
19. Use low-flow shower heads to reduce your use of hot water.
20. Wash only full loads of laundry and make sure you use the correct setting. Make sure you dishwasher is full before you run it.
21. Set your washer for cold or warm instead of hot.
22. Check for air leaks in your house and fill cracks with caulking.
23. Hang your clean, wet laundry outside to dry. The sun is a natural deodorizer and will make your clothes smell fresh. You can always put the laundry in the dryer for a few minutes to fluff it.
24. Clean you lint filter in your dryer.
25. Rely on natural lighting whenever possible.
26. Open your refrigerator as infrequently as possible.
27. Don't preheat your oven and when possible, use a toaster oven.
28. Add insulation to your walls and floor. This can reduce your heating costs by 20-30%.
29. If you have the option, choose to receive your energy using renewable resource.
30. When possible, commute using your feet, a bike, a car pool, or public transportation.
31. Shop smartly. Choose locally grown foods and products when possible to reduce transportation usage, but keep in mind that foods grown in greenhouses locally may use more energy than food shipped from further away.
32. Before you buy something, think if you really need it, it takes a lot of energy to make all the stuff in our lives.
33. Install your own renewable energy on your home, such as solar panels.
34. Exercise outside instead of in a gym to reduce the energy needed to run the exercise equipment.
35. Encourage stores to leave their doors closed when the AC or heating is on.
36. Encourage your local grocery store to keep their food in closed fridges and freezers.
37. When you have the choice don't use the automatic door.
38. Take the stairs instead of the taking the elevator.
39. Cancel the amount of junk mail by calling the catalogue or company.
40. Get involved in local groups whose mission it is to reduce energy.
41. Vote for candidates that support reducing energy.
42. Teach your children, friends and family to reduce energy in their everyday lives.